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Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 is the summer of being MIA

I haven't updated in a couple months and as usual it's all about me (what else is new?) disappearing into the writing-cave whenever I find myself with free-time. And this summer, as luck has had it, I've managed to be pretty productive. I managed to wrap up a few projects I'd been working on and will talk about them in future posts, but now that they're done my next step will be focusing on the release of... you guessed it...


"But, Steve," the voice in my head  (which I hear all too often) asks, "didn't you launch a Kickstarter that failed miserably?"

Yes, too true, my Kickstarter wasn't a knock-out success, but that's okay. It was something I'd wanted to try for some time, and now it's out of my system. Perhaps a future project will be a better fit for Kickstarter and I'll give that forum another attempt. But the good news is that not having a successful Kickstarter only means my REVENGER series won't come out all at once, not that it won't come out at all. Books 1 and 2 are already available for pre-order on Amazon.

Bonus, too, the great PINTADO, the fine artist who does all the cover art, has managed to get the first 5 covers done. Of course, since many of you are as infatuated with cover art as I am, I wanted to share them here:

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

IN WHICH I LAUNCH A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN...



HI EVERYONE! 

It’s update time again, and this time I actually have a big one to share. I’ve mentioned it a bit over the past few weeks, but I have been working on a series of middle-grade novels for over a year now, and I finally have them—the first eight books of the series anyway—in a place where I’m ready to put them out to the world!

Here’s a sneak peak at what the covers will look like:


Now, releasing eight books all at once is kind of unique. Most of the time an author writes one book, launches it, and sets to work on the next one. That’s not how this project came to be and so I’m hoping to drum up some interest and pre-sales by launching a crowdfunding campaign on, you guessed it, 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/39315842/the-first-eight-books-in-the-sixth-grade-revengers

 So please, follow the giant link button above and check out the campaign, see if any of the rewards look interesting, and consider sharing the link with others in your network who might be interested. Like all campaigns of this nature, success depends on word of mouth.

And if you haven’t already, please sign up for my newsletter if you’re interested in receiving more information about this campaign and other projects I’m working on!

Thanks for the support, everyone!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Writing update!!! And Round 2 of Why I Don't Do My Own Covers

Yes, I know, I know, I was doing so well blogging semi-regularly, and then... nothing. But that is how things go when I'm working hard on a project. I tend to let my writing gobble up every spare moment I have.

But today I bring good news. News that will give you a chance to laugh at my complete and utter lack of artistic skill. You may recall I shared, not too long ago, my mock up for book 4 in the Dean Curse books, and how the designer I'd commissioned had turned my mess into something pretty dang spectacular. I called that post WHY I DON'T DO MY OWN COVERS

Well, today I give you round two in that saga.



What you're looking at is a mock-up for the third book in a new series I've been working on for well over a year now. I will have a lot more to say about the books in the coming weeks, but wanted to start with something that blows my mind: Art, and how an artist can take my stick-figure drawing and spin it into something beyond what I could have hoped for.

For information purposes, the artist is the same gentleman I've used for all my covers. His name is PINTADO, and his website is HERE

(and yes, I know I spelled exhaust wrong in the picture :/ )

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hi, I'm Steve, and I'm a compulsive liar... but mostly just to kids...





Lying is kind of part of the job description when it comes to being a writer. Writing fiction, by definition, means I lie. All fiction writers lie. Lying is what we do. But then I also write for kids, which means I lie to kids.

I started wondering about that. What kind of person lies to kids? Right? Then I realized something: There’s another segment of the population who lies to kids as much as fiction writers. That’s right, I’m talking about parents. Yep. Parents. They’re all a bunch of liars. I know I am. I hadn’t realized it until my son called me on it today. I just finished telling him that the police would come if he didn’t let me brush his teeth, and he asked, “Are you lying to me?” to which I said, straight faced, “Nope. They’ll come. And they won’t be happy.”

 In my defence, it wasn’t that bad of a lie. I mean, if I had actually called the cops because my son wasn’t letting me brush his teeth, they very well might have showed up, and if they did, I am reasonably sure they wouldn’t have been very happy. So let’s just call that one a half truth.
But the lies pile up in my household:

“You have sugar bugs in your mouth. We need to brush your teeth.”

“Can’t go to the park today, it’s closed.” (said when I’m way too tired to go to park and don’t want to argue with a 3 year old about it)

“Gotta clean up all your toys, or the Toy Police will come take everything away.”

“Santa only gives presents to good little kids.”

“If you eat your vegetables you’ll be able to run super-fast at soccer tomorrow!”

"Okay, bye. I'm leaving without you." 

Lies upon lies.

Luckily, I seem to be able to handle it, because I’m not looking to turn over a new honesty-leaf. But I know it’s only a matter of time. It can’t last. The lying will catch up with me. I suspect the lies will just get more and more complex, until one day, when he fails to properly clean up his toys, I’ll weave a complicated threat that involves the KGB, Santa’s Elfs, and a pack of rabid chinchillas, and he'll call me on my lies, and my house of cards collapse around me. I imagine it will look something like this:

You Liar

Strangely, I’m not too worried about that day.

What about you all? I wanna hear the biggest lie you ever told a kid (doesn’t have to be yours)
I promise, I won’t judge : /

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Printed books are the best! Also.... UNICORNS!



PAPER BOOKS ARE THE BEST!!!1!One!

I’ve heard the ebooks vs. printed books debate a hundred times—many of those times things get heated. I am an ardent believer that people should read what and how they want. Like to read on paper? Cool. So do I. Wanna read off a screen? Okay, do that. I like doing that too. Same goes for if you prefer your books chiseled on stone, or painted on the walls of French caves, or hand written by albino monks on the flesh of your enemies… uh… we’ll come back to that last one….

The point of this post is not to debate which side is better—because every time that debate pops up it quickly devolves into one side saying:


And the other side doing something like this:
The point of this post is, instead, to right a problem I’ve had with the debate since the first time I heard it. The arguments are entirely unoriginal.  “With a kindle, I can hold a million books in my pocket!” or “Printed books smell like unicorns!” Both are totally true, but just not original.

So, I am here to right that wrong. Today I present an entirely friendly challenge: I will give you a few original reasons why printed books are better than ebooks (bearing in mind I love ebooks too), and you try to come up with five original reasons why ebooks are better.  

Ready?

NUMBER ONE: Cops! Yeah, that’s right. Questioning suspects just wouldn’t be the same without a physical book. What are you going to hit them with? A kindle? No, those leave very distinctive marks. Without physical books the entire justice system would be in ruin.

NUMBER TWO:  You can hide stuff in books


NUMBER THREE:  No books = no bookshelves. No bookshelves means people will easily find your secret door to your bat-cave.

NUMBER FOUR:  It’s much cooler to make-out in the library or bookstore aisles, than it is the electronics aisle at Walmart (or any aisle at Walmart for that matter).

NUMBER FIVE: They are the go-to resource for wizards and witches. 

NUMBER SIX: If you want to be evil, you can rip out the last two pages of a book and reduce the next reader to tears. Always fun… if you’re evil… which I’m not… and am no way endorsing you to destroy books.

 NUMBER SEVEN: They smell like unicorn! (C’mon, that’s actually pretty original!)